Getting Certified to Work with Lead-Based Paint

Training and certification are required before you may offer or conduct regulated lead-based paint activities in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities. These activities include:

  • Abatement of lead hazards
  • Lead testing, inspection, and risk assessment
  • Most paint-disturbing renovation work (for example, replacing windows, scraping paint prior to re-painting)
  • Post-renovation and post-abatement clearance (which includes dust wipe sampling to measure lead dust left behind)

By getting certified and working safely, you protect your own and others' health, and show professional responsibility.

Both individual certification and company certification are required. If you work for yourself, you can certify your own company under the name you choose.


Information on this page has been organized into two categories. Please choose one of the following tabs.

Individual Certification

Each of the different individual lead certification options is listed on the Lead Disciplines Table, P-00848 (PDF). For each certification type, the required training, certification fee, and prior education or experience to qualify is listed, as well as whether a state certification exam is needed.

Read on to learn about the steps to getting certified. Call our office at 608-261-6876 with any questions.

1. Get training and experience. Make sure that you have met all general education and experience requirements for the certification you'd like. Then, complete the required training class(es) before applying. Click on Lead Training Providers for a directory of companies offering accredited lead training classes.

2. Apply to certify your company. If you work for yourself, you must certify your own company under a name of your choosing. Otherwise, you must be employed by a certified company. See the tab "Company Certification" for more information.

3. Apply to certify yourself. You can apply for certification online, if paying by Visa, MasterCard, or electronic check. Don't apply online if you have taken training outside of Wisconsin, are fee exempt, or prefer to pay by money order or paper check. Instead, mail a paper application:

Starting July 1, 2021, the Department of Health Services (DHS) is offering provisional certification to individuals applying for lead certification. Provisional certification lets you start doing the regulated work your certification will qualify you to do, as soon as you apply for certification to DHS. You don't have to wait to receive your blue certification card—just submit your application to DHS, and keep a copy of your training diploma (labeled "copy") with you whenever you're doing regulated work. An electronic copy of your training diploma is acceptable.

Veterans License Fee Waiver Program

Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed services? You may qualify to receive your first individual certification for free! Visit the Veterans Professional/Occupational Licensure Fee Waiver Program Page to learn how to get a fee waiver voucher code, which can be submitted with your individual certification application instead of the applicable fee.


4. Determine if you need to take a state certification exam. If you're applying to be a lead abatement supervisor, inspector, hazard investigator, or risk assessor for the first time (or if you have not been certified for over a year), you are required to pass a state certification exam. Lead-safe renovators, sampling technicians, and abatement workers don't have to take a state exam.

You will choose a testing location and pay for the exam at the same time as you apply for certification. When we get your application, we will place you in the next available exam in your chosen city. If it's your first time being certified in the discipline and you're otherwise qualified for certification, we'll issue you an interim certification card, good for six months after you finish your training. With this, you can conduct regulated work while waiting to take and pass your state exam.

Visit the State Lead Certification Exam page for more information about registering for an exam.

Studying for Your Exam

It's a good idea to study. Each attempt to pass the exam costs $50. If you don't pass within six months of your training, or after three tries, you will need to re-take training before you can try to pass the exam again. We recommend that you use our study guides to prepare. They list the topic areas that you're expected to know in order to pass your exam.

*Applicants for risk assessor should use the study guides for both inspector and hazard investigator, as they will be tested on the materials for both of these disciplines.


Once you pass the exam, we'll issue your initial certification card, good for one year after you finished your training.

If you will be certified as a Lead Inspector or Risk Assessor you also need to get trained, certified and licensed to use an X-ray fluorescence ( XRF) instrument. The instructions for these additional requirements can be found on publications:

Training Requirements for XRF Users - P-02264

Licensing Your XRF Device - P-02293

5. Carry your blue certification card with you. You need to have your certification card with you when doing regulated work, except if you are working under provisional certification, in which case you must have a copy of your training diploma with you.

Did you misplace the cleaning verification card you received in your training class? Lead-safe renovators, abatement workers and abatement supervisors can use this form to Request a Cleaning Verification Card.

6. Work safely using the methods you learned in training. Keep yourself, your employees, and your customers safe from exposure to hazardous lead dust. Always apply what you learned in training. Here are some helpful resources on work methods:

Company Certification

Lead company certification is required to conduct regulated lead work. If you want to offer and conduct renovation activities lead abatement activities, or lead investigation activities that include lead inspections, risk assessments, and clearances in pre-1978 residential and child-occupied facilities, you must first certify as a lead company. Read on to learn how to get your company certified. Call our office at 608-261-6876 with any questions.

1. Get your staff appropriately trained and certified. Companies are responsible for using appropriately trained and certified individuals to perform all regulated lead activities. For example, a certified lead company must have one or more certified lead-safe renovators to assign to renovation projects. The same is true for a certified lead company wishing to offer to conduct lead abatement work: Everyone on the abatement crew must, at a minimum, be a certified lead abatement worker under the supervision of at least one certified lead abatement supervisor. Similarly, a certified lead company may only use appropriately certified lead inspectors, hazard investigators or risk assessors to conduct lead investigation activities.

2. Certify your company. You can apply for certification by mailing a paper application, F-00171 (PDF).

3. Decide whether to list your company on the DHS Find a Certified Lead Company webpage. If you'd like your company to be included in our directory, let us know when you apply. Your company's name, mailing address, phone number, email address and website address will be published so that consumers can contact your business when they're searching for a certified company. Companies that don't identify certified staff will not be listed.

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Last Revised: June 15, 2021